Tips for socializing/training puppies

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Patch O' Pits
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Tips for socializing/training puppies

Postby Patch O' Pits » Tue Jul 12, 2005 7:09 am

These are actually just some of the things I do with all my new pups. Owners of APBTs need to be more vigilant than any other dog owner in showing off the good in their pup at all times. This is a HUGE responsibility.

Persistence, Patience, Praise and over all Consistency will very important in working with your pup at any age.

I figured I'd put this up since several people just got new babies. Please add on more to help out the newbies

I think little kids really help with socializing pups the best, they make strange noises, often pet awkward, smell funny hehehhe so I always borrow some from my family and neighbors since I don't have any of my own!

Touching-Touch them all over from mouths to toes. Put some dog toothpaste on your finger and rub it on their teeth and gums;
next start using a little toothbrush in their mouths

Nail cutting-I found was easiest when they were asleep LOL I used regular infant nail cutters on teeny ones then dog nail clippers as they grow and then later a dremel.

Ears Start touching and cleaning their ears. LOL people often don't think to do this for some reason

Using clickers I used clickers a lot when they were really little and you'd be surprised how fast they picked things up. If you want to do it:
-Just wait for them to complete the task click treat and praise
- Also get a clicker that has a little hole at the end so you can tie it around your wrist or your neck because they can be a pain in the neck to hold while you are training and you need it handy

Calling by nameI named all the pups in the litter so this was easy. One of the first things they learned was to respond to their names. This makes all other training 10x easier.
Call them click or praise and uses toys or treat when they are old enough for treats ... mashed up cheddar cheese or liver is nice and smelly and works wonders!!!!!! Use whatever works well for you!

Noises
Introduce the pups to a variety of sounds. Since I slept with them They got to hear my alarm clock every time it was time for a feeding LOL they learned what that meant quick. I was up for all of the feedings to begin with to make sure everyone was thriving and getting enough. They also had a TV and radio in that room.
After the first week or so I vacuumed around them usually when they were eating but not right near them. They heard normal every day noises I didn't try to keep anyone quiet.

SOME OTHER good noises/things to get used too:

opening and closing umbrella's by them when they get to be about 7 weeks and let them stiff and see the umbrella when it is both opened and closed

clanging dog dishes drop pans

Textures
When they start to walk and are not like weebles but them onto different surfaces
Counters, the tub, flooring, blankets, pillows, the grass if it is warm enough outside, sand, dirt, etc.

You want to take them to work on basic commands 1 at a time for not more than 2-3 minutes here and there throughout the day this does not apply to the potty command, do that as much as needed lol.

"POTTY"
once they are ready to venture outside teach them the potty command and treat it as any other training lots of rewards. LOL I used the licker w/ mine at first for this too. My neighbors think it is pretty funny!

Don't just let your pup out and expect them to go , go out with them make sure they go to the bathroom. Give them time they often go more than once

I find the easiest way to house train is to crate train. The crate will be a safe place for your puppy when you can't be with them.

Some signs that they have to go are, sniffing, circling, pacing, squatting

Crate training overview
Get a crate that they can stand turn around in a lay down , do not give them more room then that until they are trained or they will use it as a toilet.

Many crates come with divider pannels so the crate grows with the puppy.

When you can supervise the pup keep them out with you.Take them to potty before and after eating, when they wake up, after they lay and many many times in between

Try to get them on a schedule

do not use the crate as punishment it needs to remain a happy , safe place for them.

"COME"
The most important command in my book!!!! Knowing their names really helped w/ this one!
This starts as soon as they are wobbling around. kneel about a foot away extend your hand and say the dog's name and come with your hand with food as a lure right by their little nose and bring them into you then can say YEAAAAAAAA (heheh) make a big fuss
As they get bigger, you'll do less luring w/ food and you go up on your feet then you will eventually call them from a little farther away. This takes weeks!!!!!!! You can also call them to come and then run away from them a tiny bit to get their attention and motivate them to chase/come to you.

"OUT"
As soon as the pup plays tug w/ you teach the OUT command

you can also start teaching these below commands as well:

"SIT" use food right above the pups nose and your sit hand signal while saying sit and gentle hands to help get the pup in position then click treat and praise
ONLY SAY THE actual command ONE TIME

"DOWN" similar to the above just the hand signal and food positioning are different.
this time put the food by the dogs nose then down between his front legs and ease him into a down saying DOWN only 1X. When he is there the second he does it click treat and praise

I didn't go into a lot of detail so if you need more just let me know... ;)

Some Appropriate chew toys
frozen carrots, nylabones and kongs make great chew toys.
never leave them unattended with toys they can break pieces off of and swallow such as stuffed animals and plastic chew toys

Bite inhibition:

All puppies do go throught the biting stage as they are teething.

When the pup does play to rough or even nip a little say "NO" in a firm voice or yelp like a hurt pup or say ouch but then also redirect the behavior to a toy like a rope ect. You have to make the toy more interesting than you. You can't just throw it or give it to him and expect him to stop

If you are willing to put the time into training and working with the dog. This is not a major issue.

Humping This behavior can be exhibited by both males and females and sometimes to inanimate objects LOL. It is for the most part a dominance behavior unless a female in heat is around which should NOT be allowed at all. If your pup starts doing this to anyone or anything say 'NO" and redirect them every time it happens. Letting a pup do this to another dog can eventually cause fights and letting them do it to people is obviously just plain old bad manners.

leash training
Before a pup has been vaccinated they should NOT be going for walks. However you can start getting them used to a leash, but letting them where one and letting it just drag on the foor by them. Always monitor a pup that is leashed as it can get caught on things obviously. After that you can walk the pup on lead around your own yard and house to get used to the lead being held. It must be kept very positive and in short sessions.

The follow me game can also be played with the pup on or off lead were you pretty much just encourage them to follow you around giving praise and treats or using toys.

After vaccines are fully given you can start taking short walks with the pup on a flat collar. No choke type or prong collars should be used IMO until the pup is at least 6 months of age

Classes
When your pup is old enough and vaccinated you can start socializing with other dogs and get out in public to expose them more.

More about Socializing outside the home
Another thing is once they are vaccinated fully they can be socialized around other dogs outside the home as well and brought to a variety of places.This needs to be kept VERY positive as this is a very critical time in their development. They should not ever e allowed off lead in a public area no matter how well they are trained. Some great events to attend are parades, festivals, fairs,. Good ex of places to visit are ONLEAD parks, petsupply stores, shopping center parking lots

Off lead Dog Parks:
These are a big NO-NO with any bully breed as any incident whether it be your dogs fault or not will always be blamed on a bully breed thanks to the media's sterotype of them. Also many people who go to these places have no idea about dog behaviors and or training. One last factor is for health reasons.

Organized classes
Since pups should not be in classes until they are fully vaccinated and young pups are capible of learning so much I developed a free online puppy agility class you can do at you convience at home. It has simple written out lessons w/ instructions to do with your pup. Take a peek
www.apbt.info

Also after the pup has been vaccinated, Puppy kindergarten classes and basic obedience classes are not just good for first time owners, but great for socializing the dogs and getting them on their way to becoming a good citizen and great family member. Make sure to look for trainers with experience with working APBTs and ask people for referrences. Breed clubs often offer help in this area.

Happy vet visits
Taking them to the vet when they don't actually need anything just to say hi and get a treat makes for much easier vet visits when they are there for not so pleasant shots and exams.

Car rides Definately get them used to car rides and make it a positive fum experience. Bring treats but not too many you don't want them throwing up. You can first just practice getting in and out of the car without taking them any place then move on to the actual short trips

Most dogs that end up in shelters are great dogs that their owners didn't take the time and effort to work with properly


WARNING if you do all this the pups and you both will develop a very strong bond much more than you'd even expect,
heheheh :D :)
Last edited by Patch O' Pits on Sun Dec 11, 2005 12:59 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Socializing

Postby PittyLuvers » Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:35 pm

I agree children are the best. The pittie child bond is very special. When we walk the dog down the street the children come to greet Rudy. Because the child/dog interacted can't be totally controlled is key. However, I did get concerned when I turned around and saw two girls and Rudy locked up in his crate!

KMLake

Great Tips

Postby KMLake » Mon Aug 22, 2005 1:13 am

I really enjoyed the tips you gave. For a newbie it's like learning a foreign language. My little girl comes home tomorrow and I hope to be the parent she deserves. Thanks.

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Re: Great Tips

Postby Patch O' Pits » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:52 am

KMLake wrote:I really enjoyed the tips you gave. For a newbie it's like learning a foreign language. My little girl comes home tomorrow and I hope to be the parent she deserves. Thanks.
Good luck with your baby! It's so exciting getting a new lil one! If you need anything else post away! :thumbsup:

KMLake

Postby KMLake » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:22 pm

Will do! I am sure I will be pestering you soon I am leaving right now to go get her.... (I am trying to not be too excited. I am sure she will be a very tired little girl when I get her home)

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Postby Patch O' Pits » Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:30 pm

KMLake wrote:Will do! I am sure I will be pestering you soon I am leaving right now to go get her.... (I am trying to not be too excited. I am sure she will be a very tired little girl when I get her home)
Don't let her nap for toooooo long or you'l be up all night LOL Good Luck! :)

KMLake

Postby KMLake » Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:14 am

Lil Molly is sleeping now but had a hard time resting at first. She is so skinny it hurts... and the weirdest thing. .. she doesn't understant toys or playing. Poor little thing... my heart aches that she doesn't know "toys." I think whoever staked her out and left her had no soul. I hope she can learn to play and feel safe again. She loves to be petted and talked to... I would think she would hate people but she doesn't ... poor little girl.

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Postby Patch O' Pits » Tue Aug 23, 2005 8:13 am

KMLake wrote:Lil Molly is sleeping now but had a hard time resting at first. She is so skinny it hurts... and the weirdest thing. .. she doesn't understant toys or playing. Poor little thing... my heart aches that she doesn't know "toys." I think whoever staked her out and left her had no soul. I hope she can learn to play and feel safe again. She loves to be petted and talked to... I would think she would hate people but she doesn't ... poor little girl.


Give her some time it may be a week or two before she comes fully around. You'll have to teach her how to play, no biggie, you'll have a great time doing that! Usually the young ones bounce back pretty quick. Keep us posted on her progress and post LOTS of picts

KMLake

Postby KMLake » Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:01 pm

I will take some pictures today and upload tonight. She had a great morning compared to yesterday and is sleeping now in her crate for a couple hours. I am in the same room, laptop in hand, trying to catch up on my regular work. She did well with Buster, my Mastiff and only growled a couple times. The cat still lives and Molly was only mildly interested in her. I suspect that someone bought her as a cute little baby but either didn't know how or didn't want to train her and that's how she ended up staked out and later abandoned. She is "all over the place" and doesn't know any "house rules" and I can see that she probably got into a lot of trouble. She does respond well to gentle correction (though forgets quickly which is pretty normal). She does like rawhide chews. I have her signed up for lessons with Paul Owen ("The Dog Whisperer") which both Molly and I will need. I can't believe how tolerant and obedient my Mastiff is being.

KMLake

Question for PatchOPits

Postby KMLake » Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:38 am

I have a question that's been bugging me. I was told by a worker at the humane society that Buster, my mastiff should not be sleeping in my bedroom or cuddling on the bed with me. She said that he would interpret that as his being an "equal" and would not respond well to my direction. However, I keep getting mixed messages on the whole issue of letting dogs up on your bed. My mastiff is extremely possessive and thinks he is a big ole' top dog (except when he's with me). My little girl APBT is having nothing of it and puts him in his place. Because they both want to be number one, I have stopped letting Buster, up on the bed.

I have also been reading that book by Paul Owen, "The Dog Whisperer" in preparation for Molly's obedience class with Owen. He recommends allowing your dogs access to the family bed.

So what the heck was this woman talking about? Is it because of the competition between the dogs or some archaic training theory? I want to sign this email "perpetually confused" but as a newbie you already know that.

(btw I let Molly up on the bed today while I was there working online and she LOVED it. Snowplowing the comforter and rolling over to have her belly rubbed).

SchultzLD

Postby SchultzLD » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:01 am

Be consitant with your commands, (don't change the word or how you say it, basic commands like sit, come, and so on are "happy", no, off, drop it and so on are firm and "disapointed in u" never repeat them, (they will learn to follow your commands the first time, not when they feel like it)

If you leave you Pit for a bit a come back to find he/she did some thing "bad" don't yell at it, you have to correct it while it is doing the action, or it will become confused, will not understand "I'm getting yelled at because I chewed the news paper, and ripped through the trash 20 mins ago." but instead will relate the yelling to "I'm getting yelled at because I'm excited to see my Alpha has returned to me."

I think this is the hardest for most people to understand. Pit Bulls may be among the smartest of the dog breeds, but Dogs are not very smart in relation to a Human. They relate to things far different then we do. That is the whole reason why the "clicker training" is so effective, because it lets them know the exact moment they are correct and pleasing you.

Don't punish your dog for doing what it is supposed to do... like asking to go out, so you let your dog out, put it on the tie out and go back inside because it is early and you have to get ready for work or it's cold, or wet... he/she is being punished by being left alone, at least after you tie him/her out, prise it, say good girl, pet her for 30 seconds or so, then say, "o.k. go potty" then go inside if you must. And when you eating diner, or doing laundry, carring bags of food in, and your dog stays out of your way, goes to lay down, praise her for it, let her know that is what you WANT her to do. YOu dog will repeat things that she thinks you like.

Most of all, please, please love you dog, and show it. Talk to you dog praise it or correct it. If you show you dog how much you care, they will try SO HARD to please you.

SchultzLD

Postby SchultzLD » Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:11 am

one more thing real quick that I find that helps with you Pit chewing on things she is not supposed to..

As soon as you se her chewing on you new boots, (or what ever it is)... in your "bad dog command" tell her no, or bad dog, or drop it, "be consistant" take it away, then immidatly give her a toy that she can chew on. this not only helps to relate the scolding to what he was chewing on, but also teaches hew that she can only shew on what YOU give her.

Sorry for the long and HORIBLY misspelled reply. iq of 142 but can't spell to save my life. :crybaby:

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Postby Wooderson » Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:00 am

Regarding clicker training - is it possible to snap my fingers in place of the clicker? My fingers will always be with me, but I might forget the clicker.

If I ever have a child, you all don't know how tempted I am to try clicker-training them, too. :twisted:

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Postby Patch O' Pits » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:26 am

Wooderson wrote:Regarding clicker training - is it possible to snap my fingers in place of the clicker? My fingers will always be with me, but I might forget the clicker.

If I ever have a child, you all don't know how tempted I am to try clicker-training them, too. :twisted:
absolutely, you can also just make a clicking sound yourself or other distinct quick sound as long as it marks the appriopriate behavior and you begin by following it immediately with a treat

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Re: Question for PatchOPits

Postby Patch O' Pits » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:33 am

KMLake wrote:I have a question that's been bugging me. I was told by a worker at the humane society that Buster, my mastiff should not be sleeping in my bedroom or cuddling on the bed with me. She said that he would interpret that as his being an "equal" and would not respond well to my direction. However, I keep getting mixed messages on the whole issue of letting dogs up on your bed. My mastiff is extremely possessive and thinks he is a big ole' top dog (except when he's with me). My little girl APBT is having nothing of it and puts him in his place. Because they both want to be number one, I have stopped letting Buster, up on the bed.

I have also been reading that book by Paul Owen, "The Dog Whisperer" in preparation for Molly's obedience class with Owen. He recommends allowing your dogs access to the family bed.

So what the heck was this woman talking about? Is it because of the competition between the dogs or some archaic training theory? I want to sign this email "perpetually confused" but as a newbie you already know that.

(btw I let Molly up on the bed today while I was there working online and she LOVED it. Snowplowing the comforter and rolling over to have her belly rubbed).


Sorry I didn't see this question... you can always PM or e-mail me if you need to there are different thought on dogs sleeping in beds. Mine all do so it isn't even a question for me. But.... they also know that I'm alpha. That is where the problem lies for some. A very dominant dog that does not respect an owner should be taken off the bed ASAP and be taught respect and manners before even allowing them to try to sleep in the bed.

Ex: of a situation where I'd take a dog off the bed and do major retraining is if they growled or refused to move when told or was trying to dominate in any way (I have yet to have to deal with that issue)

Many people who work shelters and even some vets sadly are not trained well in animal behavior unfortunately. Most mean well but always research any advice you are given. Remember also not every dog will respond the same to a given situation the same way


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